Pokemon entered its eighth generation with the release of Sword & Shield in November 2019. The latest title in the long-running RPG franchise introduced players to new mechanics such as Dynamaxing and Max Raids.
However in a first for the series, some of its features are locked behind a paywall with Nintendo’s Switch Online service. Now, players are asking that trade evolutions be dropped in future games because of it.
Should Pokemon drop trade evolutions?
From its inception in 1996, Pokemon has featured special evolutions which require players to trade specific monsters with another user. Favorites like Alakazam and Machamp can only be obtained through this method. The mechanic was meant to encourage Trainers to interact with others in real life.
However, things changed with the release of Sword & Shield in 2019. The Switch title requires an online subscription called Nintendo Online, and some players are not happy about it. A fan of the RPG went viral after making an argument for why Game Freak should drop the feature altogether in future iterations.
Redditor ‘Gettingridofpeople‘ made the post on July 4. “I think that Nintendo/Game Freak should drop trade evolution in future games especially now when it requires getting Nintendo online subscription. It’s enough that you have to search for certain Pokemon and items that they require to evolve but then you have to trust someone that they won’t steal your perfect iv bred shiny,” they argued.
The post quickly went viral on the Pokemon forum, with over 22.5k upvotes at the time of writing. Many long-time veteran players agreed with the argument, as many found the in-game requirement compromised now that it can only be achieved with a paid subscription.
Another user ’10Tailbeast’ suggested a possible solution. “Just have an NPC that becomes available upon completion of the game. You still have to work for it,” they said. Another user liked the idea and explained, “I wanted to get a full living dex on Isle of Armor, but when I saw the trade evolutions..I gave up.”
While most fans in the thread argued that the online subscription was the biggest problem, others revealed that not having friends was also a major issue. Many original players from the 90s are now adults, and their companions are just too busy to hop on and trade.
With Nintendo now putting a subscription paywall behind all online features, it does strengthen the argument to drop trade evolutions in the future. Whether Game Freak would actually take that step is another thing, though.